New Electronic Records of Care; Health Reporter HELEN RAE Explains Why Summary Care Records Are Being Offered to Patients in the North East

Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England), May 9, 2011 | Go to article overview

New Electronic Records of Care; Health Reporter HELEN RAE Explains Why Summary Care Records Are Being Offered to Patients in the North East


PATIENTS in the region are being offered a new electronic record to try to improve safety and quality of care when they are treated in emergencies or when their GP practice is closed.

The summary care record (SCR) will contain essential information on a patientEUROs allergies, current medications and any previous bad reactions to medicines to assist clinicians treating them. The SCR will give healthcare staff faster, easier access to this essential information than at present, as medical records are currently kept in all the places where a patient receives care.

This means the key information contained in an SCR can usually only be shared by healthcare staff via phone, email or fax which can at times slow down treatment and make the information hard to access.

Patients of the vast majority of GP practices in Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland have been sent information packs explaining summary care records and their right to choose to have one or not.

Those who choose to opt out of the system are asked to fill in the opt-out form in their pack and return it to their GP practice in person or via the Freepost service explained in the information pack.

Patients can opt out or back in to the system at any time.

This public information programme is the start of a process to create SCR across the North of Tyne area for patients who want them and who attend practices with computer systems capable of being linked to the national electronic system.

Those patients who opt for an SCR need to take no action and one will be created for them.

They will be able to choose whether to let a clinician treating them view their SCR whenever they are treated in an emergency or out-of-hours setting as they will be asked, except in exceptional circumstances, for their consent before their SCR is used. …

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